Future of Rangers’ golf program is bright

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By Rick Palsgrove
Managing Editor

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Local Schools
The 2021 Hamilton Township Ranger golf team, from left to right: (top row) Bryson Short (boys’ captain), Landon Cook, Derrick Armitage, Josh Mihely; (bottom row) Riley Featheroff, Lauren Sarakaitis (girls’ captain), Chelsie Murray, and Mackenzie Spiess.

The Hamilton Township Rangers boys and girls golf teams’ first season back on the links after a 16-year absence finished on an upswing.

“We didn’t get to play an entire full season due to the COVID quarantine of some players, but the team improved 60 percent better in scoring from the start of the year,” said Ranger Head Golf Coach Art Short.

Short said the boys and girls golf teams’ return to competition presented challenges.

“It was definitely an uphill battle and a learning curve combining experienced players and new players to make the team competitive and fun at same time,” said Short.

“We felt it was a good time to start a golf team based on the increased interest from students,” said Hamilton Township Athletic Director Ryan Fitzgerald prior to the season. “Any time we can give students the opportunity to participate and compete in athletics is always a positive.”

Short said the future of the Ranger golf program is bright.

“We have no senior boys this year so it means we will have an experienced team of boys returning next year,” said Short. “As for growing the number of players, the word is out that Hamilton Rangers’ golf is back and I have interest from a lot of parents and students for next year whom all tell me it’s me as the coach and my way of coaching that is what students and parents seem to enjoy as well as the sport.”

Short said senior girls (team captain) Lauren Sarakitis and Chelsie Murray both stepped up and led the girls team “with great play and support.”

“Bryson Short (boys team captain) was always there to lend a supportive word or advice to the other boys to keep spirits up even when things are not so bright,” said Short.

When asked what one moment stands out for him in the teams’ performance this year, Short said, “We had many memorable moments, but what stands out were the boys’ and girls’ last matches of the year and seeing all of their faces as they played golf with confidence and grace from the first days of practice and knowing, from this year on, these students will love the game and play it all through their lives remembering this experience.”

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